Whohoo For Me !! I Think ? Business In Virginia -

Business By vlk Updated 7 Aug 2009 , 2:30pm by IsaSW

vlk Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 7:46pm
post #1 of 14

My little hobby has really taken off - my family is opening a restaurant and specializing in home cookin - they have asked me to provide the Red Velvet cake for them. I am not worried about rushing or them being demanding on orders, just really thrilled they asked. icon_biggrin.gif

Then I have people calling me about Birthday cakes.... Weddings... and I even had someone willing to give me a Double Oven in exchange for a cake! (I posted an ad looking for a oven to convert my basement)

Here is my questions:

1) Do I need a license in Virginia? A Home inspection ?
2) Do I need to get a EIN# for a bank account/taxes?

Any and All help would be appreciated.

I tried to scroll thru the websites for Home Based Business in Virginia and WHAT A CONFUSING MESS !!!! icon_mad.gif
So anyone that has alread navigated the process for Virginia could you please enlighten me - or if you are in the same boat as me - we can try to figure it out together !



13 replies
sweet-thing Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 8:47pm
post #2 of 14

I am for sure no expert here but I think virginia does allow home baking with a license. They also may have cottage laws which allow you to bake/cook from home without a license as long as they are not potentially hazardous foods. It can't need refrigeration, for example. Not much help, sorry.

Musings9 Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 5:32am
post #3 of 14

Contact the VA Dept of Agriculture and tell them what you are planning, they will send you a packet of information detailing what exactley you need to do to prepare yourself for the inspection.

Musings9 Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 5:33am
post #4 of 14

Contact the VA Dept of Agriculture and tell them what you are planning, they will send you a packet of information detailing what exactley you need to do to prepare yourself for the inspection.

vlk Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 12:43pm
post #5 of 14

Okay perfect.. then I do have to have an inspection?! Wow... I am a clean freak.. but that might send my OCD into overload... LOL


costumeczar Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 12:56pm
post #6 of 14

You need to have an inspection unless you plan on labelling everything as coming from an unlicensed kitchen, which probably wouldn't be too good for cakes being sold in a restaurant.

The process isn't hard, it's a lot of paperwork up front but once that's done it's done.

Check with your local county clerk to register the business and get a sales tax number, the IRS website has information on FEIN registration, and the Dept. of Agriculture does the inspections. DIfferent counties have different rules about business licenses, apparently, so check with your local govt. to find out what you need to do.

vlk Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 1:32pm
post #7 of 14

Thank you VERY MUCH !
I have all the phone numbers ready for Monday morning.


IsaSW Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 7:21pm
post #8 of 14

I am in Virginia too, I understand what you are going through, it took me forever to find the info and so many phone calls, and people that don't know anything.
Any way, I just got my kithchen inspected this last friday.

Here is the guy you need to contact:

Rick Barham
Regional Manager
Food Safety and Security Office

phone: 804.225.4527
fax: 804.371.7792

vlk Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 7:39pm
post #9 of 14

Thank you very much.. the phone calls have gone NO WHERE !! its Tuesday, and I feel like screaming..
Your post came just in time -

What exactly do they look for in the inspection ? Give me a heads up, as I said.. I am a clean freak, but my mind is in overload with the thought that someone will be pokeing around my kitchen looking for ???? what???


IsaSW Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 11:36am
post #10 of 14

Hi Vicky,
I am clean freak too, but they are looking to see if you know about the right temperature for the fridge, the dishwasher, the water that comes out of your faucet. weird huh? they want to know if you will be handling the food properly. He didn't really look if the door knobs were clean, or if there is dust between the hinges, which I thought he would check. But he didn't.

When you send your package before the inspection, they want to see recipes and layout of your kitchen, they want to see that you have your personal stuff separate from your baking stuff, but it could be a corner designated to it. My kitchen is very small, so I just have a corner for my baking and different canisters for the business, and for example, showed him we now have converted my entry way closet into a pantry just for the cake stuff, and our pantry is now in the basement.
Hope this helps.

vlk Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 5:46pm
post #11 of 14

Thank you very much.. I will be in touch to let you know how it went!

No-goodLazyBum Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 5:48pm
post #12 of 14

Congrats on your decision to start, Vicky! I just wanted to chime in on what the Dept. of Agriculture is looking for when they inspect. Since you are a clean freak, no problems there. 50% of the experience is what agent they send out to you. Nevertheless they are looking for you to paint a picture of how you product is handled from ingredient purchase to customer delivery. Write down your process and try to have it flow from one station to the next even if you don't have a lot of space. Another plus is to have the tools and cleaners that commercial kitchens use to keep safe such as sanitizers and test strips (etc.). Those are just a few, PM me for more detail on my experience. A very nice person (from this board) did that for me and I'm looking to pay it back. icon_smile.gif

Adevag Posted 7 Aug 2009 , 12:14am
post #13 of 14

I just learned that VA allows home based businesses. I am so excited as well and plan to start my own (small part time) business eventually, in a couple of years. Anyway, we are looking to buy a house and now that I can do a business at home, is there anything to look for (to avoid) for a house purchase that would turn a license down? Do they accept townhouses as well? What kind of test sticks were you talking about? For your water?

IsaSW Posted 7 Aug 2009 , 2:30pm
post #14 of 14

A double sink its a must. I am in a townhouse, so there is no problem about that.
Zoning problem would be if in the future you would like to place a sign, depends on your homeowners association, they won't let you do that.
But other than that not too much restriction if the kitchen is inside the house.

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